Key Stats: Prince Fielder took his talents to the Motor City after a fifth consecutive season with over 30 home runs. Only Ryan Howard has more home runs since 2007, but Fielder has an OPS that is more than 50 points higher than Howard during that stretch. Fielder is one of only a handful of hitters in the league that have hit 50 home runs in a season and could do it this season.
Skeptics Say: Fielder had a home OPS that was .227 points better at home than it was away from Miller Park last year. In 6 games at Comerica Park he is a .174 hitter. It’s a small sample size, but concerning nonetheless. Last season, Comerica was actually one spot ahead of Miller Park (9th and 10th) according to the metrics at ESPN Park Factors. Oh and let’s not forget the possibility for a total lack of motivation after getting paid.
Peer Comparison: Albert Pujols stole most of the headlines away from Fielder’s departure, but what player will benefit most from the lineup around him? The easy answer is to say that it’s Fielder because of Miguel Cabrera’s presence. Yet if we add the totals for the 8 starters on each team from last season, the Angels actually have 7 more home runs (including Mark Trumbo and not Kendrys Morales). Obviously this ignores the number of at-bats a player like Andy Dirks had or the fact that Chris Iannetta wasn’t on the Angels last year. The Tigers lineup did have more runs from their other eight hitters and more RBI.